Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has a strong priority going into the transfer window. He needed a talented midfielder, someone who could step in and share the pressure that 20-year-old Emile Smith Rowe has been bearing almost entirely in recent weeks. Odegaard was being tracked by Arsenal for some time now.
When he was 15 years old, he toured the club’s London Colney training base and had a training session with the first-team squad of Arsene Wenger while pondering which top European club to join. Ultimately, he preferred Real Madrid, but now he’s actually landed in North London to help Arteta’s side push for a Premier League top-four finish.
“He’s a specialist able to play in the pockets, to play in the No.8 or No.10 positions,” Arteta said. “He can play off the sides. He’s a really creative player who’s really comfortable on the ball in tight spaces.
“He has the capacity to create chances and to score goals but something that he has improved a lot is his work rate without the ball as well, so it’s another option to give us more creativity in the final third, and give us more options to set up in different ways against certain teams.”
“Of course, they can play together,” he said when talking about Emile.
“And it is not about pushing somebody else [out of the first team]. Emile has earned his right to play the way he is performing – and Martin has to earn that too,” the Spaniard said.
Meanwhile Arsenal could line up today with Odegaard partnering with Xhaka and Partey. While Saka and Aubameyang plays wide flanks and Lacazette the hit man.